Being involved in a car accident is not something that any of us want to particularly think about. However, it’s important to know exactly what to do if you find yourself in this particular situation. Here are the steps laid out for you to prepare yourself for what to do if you’re involved in an auto accident in the future.
Check For Injuries
In the moments after an auto collision, it can be a little fuzzy for you to comprehend what to do next. Your adrenaline tends to kick in and you have that surreal like feeling of being out of your body watching the situation go down. Take a breath and check yourself over for injuries. Just because you don’t feel pain, doesn’t mean you weren’t injured. Adrenaline is a very strong hormone that can mask physical pain for hours.
Once you’ve checked yourself over for injuries, check your passengers and the other parties involved. Be sure to seek immediate medical attention for those who are severely injured as a result of the crash. Make sure that you ask all the parties involved in they have been injured. This will help your car accident personal injury lawyer later on when they’re dealing with your case. For example, another driver may report an injury claim days after the accident when they said they weren’t injured on the scene. By asking if they were injured, you can help to dispel any fake claims against you.
Contact The Police
If your vehicle is not drivable, it’s advisable to contact the police to have an accident report done. Your accident attorney will tell you that having an accident report on file is a necessity for your case to be successful. The report will outline the parties involved in the accident, their vehicle information, contact information, notation of fault (if applicable), a description of the scene, and any witness accounts.
You should be getting the information for the officer or officers that are on scene at the accident. This way, your Los Angeles accident attorney can contact them in the event that they need additional information or want to call them as a witness for your personal injury case. Realize that you probably won’t receive a copy of the accident report at the scene. Officers typically have up to 10 full days to complete the report. You can have your personal injury lawyer deal with getting the accident report from the officer if you would rather not.
Exchange Insurance And Other Vital Information
Now, it’s time to start exchanging information with the other parties involved. You’ll want to get their insurance information. Do yourself a favor and just take a photo of their insurance card so that you have all the information to refer back to. Plus, this information can be forwarded to your auto injury lawyer for safekeeping.
You’ll also want to get the other parties’ contact information. This includes their full name, driver’s license number, address, and phone number. Be sure to notate the vehicle information as well, such as the make, model, color, and license plate number. Also, if there were other passengers with the driver, get their information too. The more information you get, the better off your auto injury lawyer will be formulating your personal injury case.
Collect Witness Accounts And Contact Information
It’s a great idea to talk with the witnesses from your accident early on. Many people will start to leave the scene after they determine that everyone is okay, and the police have arrived. You don’t want to lose your chance to get their account of the accident as it could support your case later on.
Your car accident personal injury lawyer may opt to call any of the witnesses if your case goes to trial. If you don’t have any witnesses, it can be harder to prove your case. Be sure to write down each witnesses’ account of the accident and their contact information for future reference. Be sure this information is passed on to your West Coast Trial Lawyers.
We all have a smartphone within reach. Use it to take pictures of the scene. Pictures are one of the most influential pieces of evidence that your lawyer can show. People associate their emotions with pictures over words. Take pictures of the entire accident scene, all vehicles involved, injuries, and anything else you deem relevant. Realize that a picture is a great way to quickly record information, such as the other driver’s license plate, so you don’t have to fiddle around with trying to find a pen and pad of paper.
It’s very common for people to instinctively want to apologize when an accident occurs, regardless of whether or not they were at fault. It’s vital that you don’t admit fault to the accident to anyone while on the scene or when talking with an insurance company later on. Be thoughtful with what you say to the other parties involved as well as the officers on the scene. You don’t want your words to be used against you later on when trying to fight your case.
Contact A Personal Injury Lawyer
Once you gather all the information from the accident scene and have dealt with the police, it’s time to get ahold of a personal injury lawyer. West Coast Trial Lawyers are experienced in handling car accident cases and can walk you through the entire claims process. It’s very likely that you’ll be asked to do a phone interview or an in-person interview when you contact the lawyer.
They will want to get the information that is fresh in your mind so they can build up your case to be as strong as possible. It’s not uncommon for people to start to forget specific details about an accident after a few days have passed. Experienced lawyers know this and will do their best to get as much information as early as possible from you.
Record Your Medical Visits
When you’re injured in a car accident, it may not be your first thought to record what the doctors are telling you and what they do. However, it’s imperative to keep an accurate account of what happens along your recovery road. You should keep all the paperwork that is given to you by the medical health provider. Your lawyer will likely ask for a copy of all the medical documents that you receive to assist with the evidence for your personal injury case.
You’ll want to notate who you saw, what their diagnosis was, any prescription medications they prescribed, the date, time, and location of the visit. Be sure to notate any missed days of work, family events, and vacation dates used that are a result of your injury. This will help your lawyer to determine what financial compensation they will file your claim for. Don’t rely on your memory to keep this vital information as the brain tends to forget details over time.
If you need help with your personal injury claim, be sure to contact West Coast Trial Lawyers for additional information. They will fight to get you the financial compensation you deserve for the injuries and/or damages that you received. The sooner you contact the professionals, the quicker you can get your settlement underway.